Thanks for all of the additional commentary on this post. A lot of great advice and insight. It's good to have a place like futures.io (formerly BMT) where so many experienced traders can share so much wisdom.
To repeat something not to be glossed over, "Trading is one of the toughest businesses in existence. If you are going to start a trading business, I'd recommend hiring the best."
Trading MUST be approached as a business. You must have rules, max drawdowns, max leverage, a proven strategy, an understanding of probabilities. If you want to have the greatest chance of success, you need to be the business owner and the trader/athlete. Both sides require different skill sets, trading will find the weak link.
To give some credit to the business side, I'll go back to a previous thought;
" Trading and gambling are not the same thing. Trading is almost entirely reliant on odds and probabilities, but so is insurance underwriting. Insurance companies really have to know their markets, define their risk, and operate with proper capitalization. I was living in Florida around the time of Hurricane Andrew and my carrier pulled out of the state, as did many others. Not all succeed, and there are always lessons to be learned. Regardless, insurance companies are viewed as "real" businesses. Become an expert at "underwriting" the markets and you can become one of the top 5%! " https://futures.io/psychology-money-management/11714-gamble-my-middle-name.html#post131953
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I know you're not gonna believe this, but I skated (skateboard) from about 6-18. I never did so competitively, but I was quite good (vert). I look back on those days fondly. It pains me a bit that it has become something of an extreme sport now. That is, it seems, you have to be half or completely crazy to make a name for yourself in that arena. Too bad. Anyway, I still highly respect it and there is something of an analog between it and trading. Chicago was not the best place on earth to nurture a skater, and I ultimately left it behind... I still habitually "fingerboard" when I'm at my desk
Last edited by zer0; August 21st, 2011 at 12:05 PM.
When it comes to discretionary trading, no doubt it resembles sport more closely than business. This makes those who will rise to the top, few. The good news is, it is possible to develop systems (rule-based) that can work well enough to build wealth from, or to 'make a living' from. In spite of growing up an athlete, I admit that I am not at all the best discretionary trader. I built a methodology around my emotional limits and follow the system as closely as I can (I am not currently automated). So, to sum it up, I'd say: It is when you possess both characteristics, that you really shine.
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Haha, why I am not surprised? But, alas, I was strictly a street skater. Norway was definitely a good place to skate either, we had to learn everything a new every spring. It's hard to skate on snow... Sometimes, when the snow wasn't too bad, we skated on a 15 x 5 meter flat surface that was barely under a roof. Nothing like skating in -10 degrees Celsius. I started when I was 14 and drifted away from it in my early 20s. But once a skater... It is something magical about it. You get a completely different view on your surroundings, seeing only opportunities in the urban landscape... It's kind of similar to finance in that way as well. I got a better understanding of how the world is put together as my knowledge of economics/finance increased...
As you were a vert skater, I am sure you did this in a dark corner of one of Chi-towns many 'burbs several years before Burnquist?
I need to get me a fingerboard again, that's what got me through school...
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